It’s quite long debates going on these days; I thought I might summarize the little. Most people get confused about the working environment of the Tor network.
I have just found that people keep searching for things like;
- Tor over VPN?
- Onion over VPN?
- Tor + VPN what to expect?
- TOR Vs VPN, which is the best?
If you have the same kind of questions in your mind, then keep reading…
Tor Vs VPN | What’s The Main Difference?
The first thing to understand is Tor and VPN totally different networks.
Where Tor provides anonymity through;
- No tracking allowed through the browser
- Secure your footprints
- Provide another identity from its own servers
- Layer-to-Layer protection
- No restriction on any site
People mostly get confused by this, when they see another IP, and access to a blocked site. That is one of the functions provided by VPN, but that’s not all about it.
How Tor Works
It’s not a simple thing to get familiar with that easily. Tor builds a connection between your device to its own onion network. After it’s connected, it will drive all of your browsing data through its own relay and node system.
Example: if you hit “facebook.com” by using Tor, it will send that request though its different layer of nodes until it reached the desired location, in this case, is the Facebook server.
By routing your traffic node to node, it will hard to find out from where that request comes from.
What’s The Issue With Tor?
There are many issues while you are browsing around on Tor network. Here are a few examples;
- Pathetic user experience
- Connection building takes several minutes to connect
- Browsing speed reduced by 70%, which is really frustrating
- NO data encryption provided
- You ISP can see that you are using Tor Browser
These are the significant problems with Tor browser, if you are looking for anonymity then Use VPN + Tor. That’s the best combination to use.
Now let’s talk about VPN (Virtual Private Network)
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
VPN is the best tech that provides data encryption, by using a VPN, you can encrypt all of the internet traffic in just once. As if you are using Tor, it will only provide anonymity of your browsing history or searches. But VPN provides the full encryption protocol to your device or systems.
How VPN Works:
It’s an advanced tech which offers encryption. VPN does almost the same behaviour as Tor. VPN first connect you with its own server as you picked. Once you have joined, it will drive all the internet through that tunnel.
As the Tor process, VPN does almost the same thing. It will drive your internet traffic through a different layer, but in the case of the VPN, it will be encrypted with encryption.
Example: If you hit “facebook.com” when you connected to VPN service, it will wrap this request with encryption protocol and look like this “%^HgyE^rH*$3$” and then send to the Facebook server. VPN provides 256bit encryption which is also known as military-grade encryption; nobody ever finds out what was that.
Features Of VPN:
VPN comes with some of the great features if you are using some trustworthy VPN provider. Otherwise, it’s a significant risk. Many fake VPN providers are involved in hacking user data.
- 256 Bit Encryption protocols
- Unblock any site you want
- Watch US Netflix from anywhere
- Other streaming channels also be available
- Anonymous and secure browsing
- Download unlimited torrents
- Kill switch and DNS leak protection included
Note: only choose a trustworthy VPN provider that is actually providing that kind of stuff. Don’t get involved in by free and fake stuff.
Issues With VPN:
VPNs are undoubtedly great security tools. However, there still might be slight issues to using a VPN service such as:
- Many VPN providers claim to offer strict security and an even strict no-logs policy. However, they have ended by abusing the privacy of their users.
- VPNs are not accessible by everyone as you have to pay to subscribe to a service. Often these payments are high, and therefore not everyone can use them
- Some VPN providers offer excellent services; however, have a shady logging policy as they may retain some parts of your information and sell it.
- Not all VPN providers offer the best encryptions. Some may provide weak encryption which is again bad for security.
Although these issues are indeed something to put into consideration, however, using a legitimate VPN service van help overcome them
VPN+ Tor / what to expect?
Tor and VPN are both considered to be essential security tools. They both can be used to gain privacy and anonymity online. Therefore, what happens when you combine both of them together?
I tested out this theory and just as my expectations; the result is indeed great. This is because, once combined, they can ensure privacy and security much more effectively, as VPN cancels out all the negativities of TOR.
Such that, you are aware that Tor only protects your data with a layer of concealment that fall so fat the end node- after which the data goes on unprotected. Now if you use Tor with a VPN, the protection level increases as VPNs make an encrypted tunnel through which the information travels. Therefore any chance of snoopers, snooping on your data is eliminated.
Apart from that, with Tor, you might have experienced that speeds of the connection become significantly low. This can be because of the ISPs who detect the use of Tor and start throttling your bandwidth.
However, with a VPN, your ISP will be unaware of your reactivity altogether because of the encrypted tunnel. Therefore it won’t throttle you. This way, you will not experience any speed issues.
Tor over VPN- which is better?
Choosing which security tool to opt for can be a hard choice to consider at times. Therefore I have compiled a table which sums up everything and allows you to choose wisely. I have rated every feature with a “yes” and “no” comment
|S.No||Features to consider||VPN||TOR|
|2||Compatibility on various platforms||Yes||No|
|3||P2P file sharing (Torrenting)||Yes||No|
|7||Easy on the pocket price||$2.6/m||No|
Tor and VPNs both are great tools to obtain privacy and security. However, by now, you might have a clearer picture of which is a tool you should go for. Therefore no matter what tool you choose VPNs or Tor, make sure that your privacy over the internet remains intact.